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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 1, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm EDT

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look, i'm a conservative, chris. i'm used to media bias. >> so are we. and it's usually in your favor. thank you so much for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. hide and seek. let's play "hardball." ♪ good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with the many secrets of mitt romney. he wants to be president he'll tell us that, but why? besides the office that is, besides the honor his father missed, besides the notion of being america's top winner that is. why does he want to be president? to go to war with iran? waging a new war in the middle east while escalating two others? to do it without telling us when or how he's going to end it or for that matter those two two. to finance a big across the
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board tax cut but not tell us how. not what big across the board deductions he'll deny people in order to pay for it or even what taxes he's been paying himself over the years. or how he'll finance all those popular things in the president's health care plan once he kills the plan itself. lots of secrets. secrets because he himself has no earthly idea what the answers are. i'm joined by democratic strategist bob shrum and salon's joan walsh. first, however, we have two new national polls on the presidential race. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. according to a new "washington post"/abc news poll, president obama has a two-point lead holding there, 49%, 47%. same score in the new politico poll. obama by two, 49/47. "the new york times" this weekend reported on the two campaigns' ongoing debate preps. here is what they they said about romney's prep. quote, mr. romney's team has clon included that the debates are about creating moments and has eye quipped had i am with a
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series of zingers he's memorized and has been practicing on aides since august. bob shrum, you have been on that particular role, preparing candidates for debate. what do you make of romney, a rather stiff customer to begin with, coming off as sort of a henne youngman or whatever, some sort of a don rickels with some zingers. i don't think of him as a zinger kind of guy which obama is expected to be left helpless. what do you make of that strategy? >> first of all, if you had it, you wouldn't announce it. it's kind of stupid. >> why are they leaking it? >> i don't know. because they're trying to hold onto their people, they're undisciplined, i have no idea. number two, zingers don't exist in a vacuum. it's not just coming up with some funny lines. they have to be part of the fabric of the argument and part of the fabric of who the person is. when ronald reagan said there you go again, it was completely natural to him. as you know, chris, carter was right, he had opposed medicare at the start but when reagan said, there you go again, it actually sort of discounted everything else that carter had said in that debate. so they've got to be organic,
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they've got to be natural, they've got to be real. i think everybody at least in the political class who has seen this report is going to be watching the debate to see if we can sort of tick off, oh, that was the prepared zinger. did he bring it off? >> oh, yeah. >> the other thing is he's not very good at this. i mean, you know, i know they don't want him to be spontaneous because he'll say the wrong thing, but delivered a prepared funny line seems to me to be one of the hardest tasks probably even harder than telling us what's in his tax plan. >> as a journalist, joan, i want your view. suppose you're watching the debate as we all will be, everybody is going to be watching wednesday night, and you see what is obviously is prefab zinger that doesn't even sound like romney. it's more of a wisecrack which he's not particularly good at, something i would do for example, and he comes out with this thing, and would you if you were obama say, is that the first one of the night? why don't you just spill your beans now and do all your wisecracks and get them over with? would you take it seriously like
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he actually just thought that one up? >> it depends on what it is, chris. i mean, the great thing about president obama and the debates with john mccain, it really wasn't so much what he said. it was the way he held himself compared with the way that senator john mccain held himself, and senator mccain looked increasingly flustered. he looked frustrated with candidate obama. i think that the great thing about president obama is that he does have the capacity to be totally in the moment and to be totally funny. he is funny on his feet. and so, you know, for him to practice what he's going to do in case of a zinger, i think he's got the blessing of being rather spontaneous and the blessing of being up against someone who is incapable of spontaneity, reveals himself into" those spontaneous moments like the 47% taped remark to be not a terribly likable person. so i think for the president to practice the way he handles zingers defeats what the president is particularly good
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at. >> well, actually barack means -- barack means in swahili blessed one, so you got that one right. will president obama challenge romney on the details of his vague tax plan, a tax plan almost every expert agrees doesn't make mathematical spence in yesterday's paul ryan was grilled about it on of all places fox news. let's watch. >> how much would it cost? >> it's revenue neutral. >> i'm just talking -- we'll get to -- >> the cut in tax rates is lower all americans' tax rates by 20%. >> how much does that cost? >> it's revenue neutral. lowering tax rates by broadening the tax base works. >> you haven't given me the math. >> yf the time -- it would take me too long to go through all the math. >> this is not the first time romney was challenged or ryan on the vagueness of the proposal. back in 1994 romney talked about a plan to tackle health care up in massachusetts. actually nationwide. but never explain what had cost would be, the cost of the
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program. his opponent in the race back then was ted kennedy memorably challenging him on that debate. let's watch ou it's done. here is where you are challenge a guy to come clean, especially when he can't do it. let's watch. >> they ought to have an opportunity to know. what is the kotion of your program? >> i don't have a cost of my program. >> you don't have a cost. >> i'm sorry, i don't have the -- >> that's interesting. >> i don't have the congressional -- >> what will be the cost in terms of the tax incentives that you provide? what will be the impact of that on the budget? >> well, i do not know the specific number -- >> you don't know the costs. >> i think it's a wonderful idea to take it through piece by piece and -- >> that's what you have to do as a legislature. that's exactly what you have to do as a legislator. >> well, bobby, i don't know where that line came from. that's what you have to do as a legislator, about you it definitely won the election right there. let me ask you, that's exactly where we are in this debate right now. everybody would like a tax cut. who wouldn't want a tax cut, especially 20% across the board
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if you're making 35%, the top rate, you go to 28%. all chris wallace was trying to get from ryan on sunday was just tell me what big deductions you're going to get rid of so we can finance that. it's the question. of course everybody wants a tax cut but if it's not going to cause bigger deficits tell us how you're going to do it and they won't do it. they won't say we're going to get rit of charitable deductions, won't get rid of homeowner, state and local. that's where all the money is. it's not little do dads here. joan, you take this one. he won't tell us. same question comes up wednesday night, can romney dodge ball it? can he say i'm not telling you how i'm going to do the major thing i promised to do, get the economy going through a tax cut but i'm not going to tell you how i'm going to do it. can he get away with it with even the mid-12348. >> i hope not. i think this is a moment for jim lehrerer to be very tough, respectful tough, and for president obama to come back at him and to say, look, i'm happy to see -- your running mate said he didn't have enough time on sunday.
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that's too bad. that's terrible, in fact. i'm willing to cede, governor romney -- >> could jim lehrer get away with simply saying i have a little liberty here, a little leeway, i will give you all the time it takes. tell us now what tax breaks you're going to get rid of. >> tell us what tax breaks you're going goat rid of and also please, governor romney, you were very upset about the 47% of americans who pay no taxes. well, they include seniors, the military, and they include the working poor. please tell me, governor romney, exactly which groups you're going to raise federal incomes taxes on of those three groups because you don't like the fact they're not paying taxes. he's a very wonderful man, a warm man, he could be tough but respectful and i think president obama should help him out by saying i'm happy to cede some of my time so you can take the time and lay out all those deductions -- >> i know that's a briar patch because you walk him in there,
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bob, you walk him into that briar patch and say, go ahead, tell us what you're going to get rid of. all of a sudden the guy is in worse shape. that's why they won't do, it right? romney won't tell us what he's getting rid of it because if he's getting rid of it he's killing charitable organizations that need the money from charity. you start capping that, start messing around with people's mogages, the one thing they need to build up some capital and apparently worth. you mess with state and local. are you supposed to move if you live in new york or a high tax state like massachusetts you're supposed to move because romney got elected? >> listen, his tax cut plan is going to slam about 6% of the american people, not 47% of the american people. he can't provide real details. you could close every single loophole that benefits the wealthy and just close it for the wealthy and it wouldn't pay for a fraction of the tax cut he's giving the wealthy. >> because they're still getting ahead. >> reducing capital gains to zero which means romney would pay virtually zero taxes. he's going to come back and say i want to work this out with the
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congress. well, i just don't think the country is going to trust mr. 47% and this congress to play around with taxes because they understand very well and the democrats now have an advantage on taxes, which as you both know is very rare, they understand very well where romney's priorities are. he's for the people at the top. >> joan, why would you want to get rid of the estate tax unless you own $250 million, you don't expect to spend it all while you have time on this earth, you want to divvy it among the kids. >> and he's also already shoveling money into trusts for his sons. he has provided us, chris, with a seminar in tax policy for the last six months. we've learned a lot about how our tax code privileges the super wealthy, and i think that that, too, is a very valid area of questioning and concern for both the moderator and president obama, how do these policies benefit you and why have you availed yourself of every
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imaginable deduction while you're so -- allegedly so concerned about our deficit. >> today the obama campaign is shifting its strategy on how to deal with romney's proposal to explain which tax deductions he will eliminate. rather than raul romney out, the president will, quote, warn middle class voters of the worst and goad the republican nominee into proving him wrong. it's a lose/lose proposition for romney because any answer will invite further criticism. that's my point, in goading him into saying what deductions he would get rid of, he'll either not say, which will make him look like he's hiding out during the debate with jim lehrer saying tell us, tell us, tell us, he's saying no, no, no or he's beginning to tease and show some leg and say i'm think being something to do with the home mortgage thing or a charitable cap or something less on state and local. in any case they will go through the roof, the voters, the next day and the headline writers. >> that's really smart because the question he should be asked that would smoke him out is do you rule out limiting or
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eliminating the home interest mortgage deduction, pell grants for -- ha send middle class kids to college, the deducks for state and local taxes. if he says i wouldn't touch the deduction for state and local taxes he opens the door for a continuing process of would you touch this or touch that. if he doesn't answer it everybody will assume that's what he's going to do and tlael be hurt. >> what's the best "hardball" question for governor romney. >> best question is which groups are you going to raise taxes on. >> well said. bob? >> for romney i got one for romney which would be, you know, for the president rather, your opponent says that he favored the kib of kind of reorganization and bailout in bankruptcy that ultimately worked for the auto industry but with no public money. mr. president, was there private money available, and if there wasn't, what would have happened? >> thank you. >> i'm not jim lehrer, i'm not fair. >> that's really tough for
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obama. in other words, the other guy's -- i love these answers. thanks so much, bob shrum. i knew you wouldn't do this. joan, thanks so much. coming up -- yours at least was legitimate. coming up, what can brown do for you? he's running for re-election up in ohio. but he's got karl rove money machine, whole money machine coming at him, and he's taking him on pretty well. he's doing well. we're going to learn something about winning in a good old state like ohio. republicans have been searching without success over the country for voter fraud and now they finally found it in their own campaign. the biggest case of alleged registration fraud in the country and the republicans are caught paying for it and holding the bag. we can't wait to get to that one. we're going to visit that peril republican universe where mitt romney leads, by the way, in every poll in that universe. the republicans really believe in a liberal conspiracy involving all the pollsters of this country left and right, enthe fox pollsters? maybe they just don't accept the
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legitimacy of a democratic president, any democratic president. let me finish with my belief that presidential debates are often unfair and almost always unpredictable. this is "hardball," the place for politics. this message. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side?
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new polling from some key midwestern battlegrounds. first to ohio. a newp pp poll, president obama's lead there is four points, 49 to 45. ppp tends to lean democratic but the new columbus dispatch poll shows the president with a lead more than twice as big. he's up nine in the newspaper poll. 51/42. in iowa, a new des moines register poll has the president up 49/45. that's been a tricky state, iowa. we'll be right back.
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welcome back to "hardball." the democrats hope of keeping the u.s. senate are getting stronger by the day especially when you zero in on ohio where brown seems to be successfully
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fighting back against the dirty angry money. a new columbus dispatch poll has brown up over his opponent josh mandel by ten points. that's a big change from their tied race in late august. senator sherrod brown from ohio is with me from cleveland. thank you so much because i love seeing you here on this show because you represent to me the bread and butter, the meat and poe toy toes democrat party i grew up knowing all about and worked for. regular people who need regular government. it struck me and it must have struck you that this 47% thing that romney said and didn't think anybody was recording, where he said those people don't take care of their own lives. they don't meet their own responsibilities. well, the problem with that is he's attacking people on social security. it seems to me somebody who has been paying payroll tax from the time they were a paper boy or a stock boy from the time they were 14 has taken care and responsibility for their lives. they shouldn't be derided or mocked for not being reliable citizens.
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did you ever think about that, i'm sure you have. he's attacking basic bread and butter people in this country who worked their whole lives and are living on social security as somehow bums. >> well, he's attacking people on social security, attacking people who are veterans and you know who else he was attacking if you watch that video, you see the wait staff walking back and forth in front of the camera. in some sense he was attacking them who have just their first names on their shirts and, you know, they're not paid much attention to and they're probably eligible for the earned income tax credit, probably working harder than most people do in this society frankly because they're struggling and working two jobs and he's talking about them as they're waiting on his friends. it was pretty interesting, but when -- >> by the way, that's probably one reason why one of them put that little camera up on the chair. to get even with that s.o.b. >> we don't know who that was, yeah. but you're right about that. but i think the issue here is that, you know, when you run for office and you serve in lek tick
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office, you raise your right hand and you represent everybody, including people that might not like you and might vote against you and might contribute to your opponent. you still represent them because i want everybody in my state to do better. my focus is on people that in the middle class and people that are looking for opportunity, pell grants and getting ahead, sending their kids to school, going to community college or whatever and having that opportunity of the american dream, but i respect everybody and all of us should from the president on down, as you know. >> let's talk about the president on down. in ohio do you have a sense of the zest, the excitement, the noise of the campaign? do you see the lawn signs? do you see -- apparently he's got -- barack obama's operation has 120 offices in your state and 600 people working there. >> yeah. we have -- he has hundreds of people in the field, as my campaign has 65 full time organizers. no campaigns in the country -- i don't think any senate candidate in the country has that kind of field operation that we do. we've had that in place since
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march because we know with this onslaught of $19 million, the way to fight back is grassroots online at sherrod or in the field like that. we're working closely with the president on reg separation, persuasion, get out the vote. tonight there's people camping out at the board of elections in anticipation tomorrow morning where i'm going to join them of early vote starts tomorrow. we're ready, we're organized, and that's how you win with this -- in the face of this onslaught of money. >> it used to be rich people who traveled a lot out of country whether they were business people or people wealthy enough to travel out of the country uses absentee -- i use it because i have to be in new york. i can't vote at home. how does it affect you. does it lean republican or is it even steven? >> i think it's flipped. it used to be you had to give a reason for early voting. you had to be disabled or -- wealthy people in florida or business people.
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now it's all about organizing and getting people there early. in ohio we have what's called the golden week. this was interestingly written by a republican legislature. the law wasself years ago where for one week registration is still open so you can register at the cuyahoga or franklin county or richland county board of elections. you can register to vote and vote in your name trip to the board of elections. >> i like that. >> it really makes sense. we're urging people to come in this week. people particularly who are least likely to be registered an that's people on college campuses coming back to school, more low income people, and people that might have moved for business reasons, whatever, and need to update their registrations. >> okay. here is the battle going on in the air. you were talking the ground game. the obama campaign is running this ad in ohio to attract voters in coal country. let's take a look at this one. >> seen these new ads where mitt romney says he's a friend of coal country? this is the guy who wants to keep tax breaks for companies
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that ship american jobs overseas. the same guy who had a swiss bank account and millions in tax havens like bermuda and the caymans. and on coal, well, here is what he said as gov outside a coal fired power plant. >> i will not create jobs or hold jobs that kill people. and that plant, that plant kills people. >> well, this is a tricky business because you have a coal situation and environment and all those kerns. how do you win on that argument in your state and how is mandel running that case? he seems like he's stuck with the romney idea. >> yeah, he is. and i think you win on that by, you know, you know, we've talked enough on this show, chris, and you get this better than almost anybody, that it's not liberal/conservative, left or right, it's whose side you're on. i go to belmont county and zanesville and cambridge and woodsfield and these communities in ap latch ya. they know i want to keep programs strong for veterans. veterans have a higher
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unemployment rate. we're always working on helping with manufacturing. there's a lot of small manufacturers in these small communities, and i want to make sure that these workers get an opportunity to send their kids to school. we have more coal mine jobs today in ohio than we did four years ago. it's not a huge number anymore, but it matters in our state, and we're seeing those -- i think those miners come around and support the president in the end in pretty large numbers because they know he fights for them on taxes. he fights for them on issues of opportunity for their kids, for all of that. >> i hope they don't go for thas race-baiting terrible ads on welfare which are nothing more than a cheap ploy to get people to vet for their resentments. thank you senator sherrod brown. the endorsement president obama would just as soon not have. and this is "hardball," the place for politics. ah.
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back to "hardball." now to the "sideshow." first, if you could vote in favor of any issue in the upcoming election what would it be? something you and perhaps only you want. well, here is a celebrity list of ideas. take a listen. >> you could vote for anything in the world. >> anything at all. >> what would it be? >> gays in the military exclusively. >> i vote that if you talk about your baby -- >> it's got to be a really good story. >> like a really, really good one. >> i vote yes on cats. you know they're up to something but i like them. >> guys, rock the vote. this isn't rock the vote? >> women should have the right to vote. >> okay, ellen. sure. >> they do? >> yeah, right? >> k owe. well, that's good, women should have the right so i'll think of something else. i would not have red and blue states. i would have like fuchsia and seafoam. prettier. >> it would be against the law to touch my stuff, stop touching my stuff, mom. you paid for it but it's in my room. >> obviously you can't vote for most of that stuff. >> but there is a simple way to have a voice op a lot of important issues.
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>> what stuff is important to you in the upcoming election? vote for stuff -- >> in 2012. >> i love sarah silverman's proposal, gays in the military exclusively. that was vote for stuff, the vote for stuff initiative. next, the simpsons goes political. a promo for the show tackled voter i.d. laws and last night's episode had a not to the 2012 race. here goes. you have heard of mcbain, the simpson's version of an action star. we'll take a look at the sign that popped up during the show's opening credits last night. mcbain capital, consider this a hostile takeover. that's obviously a knock at mitt romney's old stomping grounds. bain capital. it was "the new york times" reporter dave isikoff who caught that one. next, when things get damp, a florida reporter went to the home of congressional candidate justin lamar sternad to track down some answers. was the failed democratic candidate only in the race to take votes away from another democratic candidate? and was republican incumbent david rivera behind him in this?
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here is what happened when the reporter, michael put ni, showed up at sternad's front door. >> sorry to bother you. i'm michael put ni with channel 4 -- >> drempled. the person behind the splash was apparently the former candidate's wife. the situation of his candidacy is currently under investigation by the fbi. finally, the endorsement neither candidate has been courting. venezuelan president hugo cha z chavez. he's had a rocky stint in office to say the least. in a tv appearance yesterday, chavez weighed in on the u.s. presidential race. quote, in the point of view of his politics, if i were voting, i would vote for obama, and i believe that if obama was from caracas, he would vote for chavez. i am positive. relations between the u.s. and venezuela have been tense in recent years. neither embassy has had an
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ambassador since 2010. chavez himself is in a tight race for re-election. i'm rooting against him. and voters in venezuela will cast their ballots this coming sunday. up next, republicans have been looking for voter fraud. guess what? they've found it, in their own campaign. after making it difficult for democrats to vote, it's the republicans who are to blame for the biggest case of registration fraud in the country. and that's coming up in a minute. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics. aler witr fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer. [ female announcer ] some people like to pretend a flood could never happen to them.
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september, the first time that happened since may. on the m&a front, 3m is by buying ceradyne. that's it for cnbc, first in business worldwide. we'll send it back to "hardball" and your host, chris matthews. well, back to "hardball." republicans have been on the hunt, by the way, some would say witch hunt, to root out voter fraud in 17 states that made it a lot harder for regular people to vote, including pushing unnecessary photo i.d. requirements in pennsylvania. all to ward off what they call voter fraud. that hasn't been proven to exist. they may have found some in their own ranks. the firm hired by the republican national committee to register voters in florida and four other battleground states has been hit with allegations of fraud. here is the palm beach county elections supervisor describing some of the inconsistencies that
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caused her to sound the alarm. let's listen. >> some of the information on the florida voter registration forms were trying to register people with addresses in new york. some of the address changes that were being requested on the forms were actually being transferred from a home address to commercial buildings. in one instance, a couple was being reregistered to an address in miami that's a shell gastation. >> we have met the enemy and he is us. we have david corn joining us, he's our political analyst and also mother jones washington bureau chief, and michael isikoff is nbc news's investigative correspondent. is this like the allegations that the right wing had put against acorn a couple years ago. >> there are some striking parallels with the a.c.o.r.n. allegations. started in palm beach county. a lot of registration forms that had similar signatures, so
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there's a suspect right from the outset. you had one person registered at a shet gas station, another at a land rover droealership, a medil building in boca. they fount similar irregularities in eight other counties. the florida division of law enforcement has launched a statewide investigation into this company. the republican national committee has fired them. they paid them $3 million to do voter -- >> what did they do wrong? why does the party rely on volunteers who believe in the party cause? why are they outsourcing -- >> they don't have the bodies to do this. >> it's not that hard to do voter registration. >> the democrats over the years have used unions and other group, we talk about a.c.o.r.n. and things like that. the republicans don't have the same bodies in a lot of place sos they have hired these places. it's very lucrative. the guy who runs this, who was in mike's story earlier today, was head -- >> how much did they get for a sheet of names?
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>> they advertised on craigslist to get the people to do this for 12 bucks an hour. >> 12 bucks an hour. talked to one election supervisor who says whenever you put money into the equation here, you got an incentive for people to sort of dummy up -- >> make up names. >> mickey mouse right here. >> look, the question people watching right now even though it's just a screw up and it's embarrassing to them and it looks bad, does it affect who gets to vote? suppose a company, whether it's left or right, goat out and comes up with lists of name that are bogus or duplicated all over the place. that doesn't mean, does it, that somebody is going to vote illegally? >> probably not because the fact is that they go to the voting booth and they have a false registration form with a phony address, thof present a driver's license, the driver's license is not going to match with what's on the registration form. >> they won't even know where to go vote. >> the question is, and this happens in some cases, if you sort of put in false information about somebody who actually exists. a lot of different ways of doing this. if someone is just writing fake
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mickey mouse names to collect that $12 an hour, that's not going to lead to fake voting. but if you're out there trying to do something a little more evil, you would put in fake -- real names with bad addresses and you'd say these are the new addresses and a lot of ways you can sort of screw things up. >> but that has to be done -- i know a little bit. tough do that on the street list, division bidivision. you don't stand in front of a safeway or giant food store doing that. here is shaun spicer distancing the party from the firm they hired. this is rans priebus' operation. >> we have an allegation. that mere allegation has caused us to act swiftly and boldly and sever our ties because we have a zero tolerance when it comes to this. the other side clearly engaged in a long time in inappropriate behavior. we don't believe that that's appropriate and we wanted to make a swift and bold action to i will strit that. >> swift and bold, zero
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tolerance, lots of nice words but they spent how many millions of bucks? >> 3 million bucks. >> that's the reality. nathan sproul, who runs the company, was doing this should have been a known quantity to the republicans who hired him because the los angeles times writes his reputation is such that when he was tapped by the rnc to do field work, officials requested he set up a new firm to avoid being publicly linked to the past allegations. sproul told the times the firm has set up with a virginia address and sproul does not show up on the corporate paperwork. they knew they were dealing with is somewhat sleazily fellow and they covered for him. >> he had a whole past of doing this. >> there had been allegations about sproul going back to 2004. now, no voter suppression, throwing away democratic registration forms. nothing was proven, but he was a known quantity. in addition, there was an allegation relating to an arizona attorney general's race, so enough to make him sort of a
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hot commodity. >> here is something that bothers me because this affects voting. nor florida shenanigans, we have a video of a romney volunteer down there saying that president obama is a muslim. it was picked up by an answering machine after the volunteer didn't hang up before moving on to her next call. the clip aired in tampa on a radio station, wmmf, nbc news hasn't independently authenticated the audio. >> you don't want obama. you really don't want obama because he'll get rid of your made care. you might as well say good-bye to it. yeah, and, i don't know if you've done any research on obama or not, but eggs a muslim. >> well, he is a muslim. that's push polling. you pretend to be polling and all you're doing is putting out the word the guy is a communist. >> would you vote for someone who believes in communist. we're taking a survey. we've been talking about this for a couple years. for some reason the republican
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party and their conservative allies can't get away from describing obama as muslim, not born here, not believing in america. >> i know, i know, i know this is what they do. the head of florida's gop where the call appears to originate told the st. you a gug teen roshgd, it was off script completely. we have everything scripted. those are clearly not the views of the republican party of clay county or the mitt romney campaign. they did not deny the incident. this whole thing about it was a renegade, it was a rogue operation, those polling operations, those -- there are people sitting in rooms, sitting in call stations. you have people sitting next to you, sitting to your left and right. nobody ever heard her saying that? >> well, they claim not. >> these are phone bankses. >> they're supposed to have scripts. if a person says "a," you say "b," if they say "b," you say "c." if this was a rogue, this was someone who -- >> the reason i bring this up is when they poll people like in ohio, when you see more than a third of the republican
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registered voters think he wasn't born in this country, the president, this isn't just something they come up with at home. they hear this. they get it through different channels and this is one of them. mr. isikoff, you have done it again. you've captured this case of corruption really. people selling registration lists that are bogus. >> right. and i think we're going to hear more of it. when you get a statewide investigation by the law enforcement, it's likely they're going to find more, and the question is, you know, nathan sproul, who i talked to last week, said he's the victim here. this was a few bad apples. you know, how many bad apples are we talking about and what does it say about what kind of oversight -- >> the over fbi case where they have a democrat who loses the -- fbi investigating that. i like that story, too. david corn, michael isikoff. great guys. up next, why are so many republicans living in a parallel universe where they think mitt romney is leading in all the polls and it's a liberal conspiracy to suppress the
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republican -- boy, that's something. could it be they just don't accept the legs ma si of a democrat in the white house. that's my theory. they don't think democrats belong in the white house. they'd given the congress awou for 100 years if they could have the white house. this is "hardball," the place for politics. gave it greater horsepower and best in class 38 mpg highway... advanced headlights... and zero gravity seats? yeah, that would be cool. ♪ introducing the completely reimagined nissan altima. it's our most innovative altima ever. nissan. innovation that excites. ♪
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nissan. innovation that excites. i'm bara ck o bama and i approven. innovation that excites. romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side? well, liz warren is on top in the late he is polling from massachusetts. let's go back to the "hardball" scoreboard. in a new wbu r mass ink poll it
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shows warren leading senator scott brown by four now. wow, 49/45%. a guess all this making jokes about the indians isn't working for mr. brown. we'll be right back. ♪
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we're back. one of the hallmarks of our democracy i might say is the highest office, the presidency, belongs to no one political party. in fact, an equal number of republicans and democrats have held the office since the end of world war ii, about six each actually. but listen to republicans and it's easy to imagine they believe in their world that the presidency belongs to them. that any democrat occupying the oval office is somehow certainly
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unwelcome by their tastes and illegitimate perhaps, even an aberration. the latest republican claim that the polls out there now showing mitt romney trailing president obama are a hoax. cooked up to propel the democratic turnout machine. with me to try to get through this is joy ann reid, managing eder to of and political analyst and columnist the great eugene robinson. eugene, we have grown up watching basically back and forth. ever since ike and truman, it's brn basically an eight-year thing. you get an eight-year run and people turn you out and try the other party. the republicans, this is my contention, have this almost, i don't mean it literally, monarchist notion, that somehow the executive plongs to them. >> they do like the executive, don't they? >> it's kind of part of what i call republican mythology that this is a center right country, therefore someone from the center right or further right should be president of this country.
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now, i think that's silly on two grounds. number one, center is center, right, by deaf significance. >> they're describing that 1950s. >> exactly. >> number two, i think while it's true more people say they're conservative an liberal, i think people say they are conservative than liberal, i think that's true i'd logically but not operationally, not practically. practically, people, you know, we -- >> i am with you. >> we want a society where we take care of each other. >> joy-ann, the old republican party supported civil rights. when you define liberal and conservative, people support medicare with all their hearts and they do like this stuff, they like that we have a mixed capitalism with some social welfare mixed in to soften it and that makes them practical
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people and makes them liberal in a sense of functionality but not, i'm a liberal. your thoughts? >> you know, i agree. chris, two things have happened over the course of the last 20, 30 years. you have this slow turning away from the ideas of e new deal, at least from other people. the notions that these are ha handouts when it applies to other people, just by default, any democratic that gets elected, it was illegitimate. and then clinton comes along, he's ichlt llegit. >> he did win and i would think that there was this notion that bill clinton was inherently illegitimate and nothing too extreme to dislodge him from the white house because he was de-facto illegitimate. and i think with barack obama, this notion that this could not have happened. this was a nightmare inflicted on us by a.c.o.r.n. >> you are so funny.
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you have the cartoon sense, the way they look at this. the idea that somehow it doesn't belong to the democrats and bill clinton went to russia when he was a kid, he's some sort of mole, some sort of martahari. and even kennedy -- why do they think illegitimately, why does the white house belong in the hands of the toris, if you will, the conservatives? >> because i think it's symbolic. they feel the symbol of the country has got to represent the symbol of the values, pushing what they see is the american value system, which is capitalism unrestrained, this idea of freedom that they have actually glommed on to things, corporations. they believe that the president is the salesman to the world of what they see as the american story, which is that we are about, you know, free enterprise, and we are about
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what they see as freedom and they think democrats want to do this european socialist mushy, mommy state. >> when they get in the white house, they tend to start a war. >> we can argue -- >> i think it's about power on a certain level. i mean, look, nixon, reagan, george w. bush, republican presidents have learned how to get stuff done at times in the face of congress and sometimes controlled by the other party. you know, this whole notion of the imperial presidency that arose under nixon, not coincidentally, a republican, i think you said it was kind of a tori sense built. but it's really a concentration of power. >> are they stronger than the democrats and they know what that is?
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assembly, parliamentary? >> in some ways they have been more skillful and more ruthless in the way that they have moved the levers of power. in washington and outside of washington, to get stuff done. >> joy, i don't think the republicans have a karl rove a. malignant sense of power, i'm going to be the architect and i'm going to rule and they are spreading the money around and trying to get back the power. it does seem almost obsessive, the love of the white house. >> i think eugene robinson is right. for conservatives, the idea of being the cowboy, they like the self-image for themselves and want that image for the country. democrats, somehow in their constitutions, are just more conzilla tore and it's not much as a bully way and conservatives don't like it. >> there were good cowboys, too, kurt douglas. they were not all far right. thank you so much. don't knock the cowboys too much. thank you so much, joy-ann reid.
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when we return, presidential debates, they are often unfair because of the context they come in and they are often unpredictable. you are watching "hardball," the place for politics. [ clock ticking ] [ male announcer ] there's a better way... v8 v-fusion. vegetable nutrition they need, fruit taste they love. could've had a v8...
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let me finish tonight with this incredible exciting debate coming up the night after tomorrow. i know from experience how many of us watch these debates. we watch them with people of similar mind. we then cry out in utter surprise when we hear people saying the other guy did.
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i remember how the speechwriter for president carter watched the debate with ronald reagan and the fact that we were all together on the fact that carter had won it. so few of us know who won wednesday night. listen for the focus groups. we're going to have one here at midnight and see how it's going. don't think that's going to be the last word. back in 2000, the establishment group believed that al gore beat george bush in that debate. go back and watch that and you will laugh and the genuine article. it's not exactly fair the debate itself. richard nixon had to stand on the same stage with jack kennedy. reagan never said what he would do to spring the hostages. that was tough enough, wouldn't you say? against pesky ross perot as well. john mccain had to defend


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